The Mr Sheen's Miscellany for Bassoon series
This collection of pieces was written for the Trinity Guildhall Examination Board syllabus. It is aimed principally at students of grades 1 to 5 and intended to combine technical challenges with that most vital musical ingredient: fun.
In "March of the Day" (Songs and Chants of the Beautiful Game) soccer fans might identify hints at six (or more) football themes. The piece has three main ideas each in the contrasting keys of Bb, Eb and F majors. Can you find a different character for each one? The danger for bassoonists in this sort of piece is that everything can sound accented, so be careful to follow the articulation marks as closely as you can.
This is all about building phrases through repetition. It relies largely, therefore, on control of the sound. Try to achieve a really obvious contrast of character between the opening phrases and the less refined con spirito episode. This might be played just a touch faster than the opening and closing sections, if you wish. There is a hint of gentle parody in this piece if you can find a way of expressing that too.
This piece stretches the compass and range of expression even further. There are very obvious contrasts of staccato and legato and the phrase lengths of the middle section are far from regular. Try to scale down the dynamics at the end so that you end as softly as you can play.